Fetal pericardial effusion

Lewis Shenker, Kathryn L. Reed, Caroline F. Anderson, William Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Forty-four fetuses with pericardial effusions have been identified by ultrasonographic examinations. The clinical histories and courses of these patients were reviewed. At least eight different clinical features accompanied and were probably responsible for the pericardial effusions. The most common cause of a fetal pericardial effusion was heart failure (13 fetuses). Fetal renal cystic dysplasia with oligohydramnios and other anomalies was present in six fetuses. Four of this group had microscopic evidence of pericarditis on postmortem examination. Fetal pericardial effusions are always a manifestation of another disease process often presenting as fetal hydrops. Some pericardial effusions are transient. The etiologic origin of fetal pericardial effusions differs from that in the child or adult.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1505-1508
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1989


  • Fetal pericardial effusion
  • pericarditis
  • prenatal diagnosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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